German car sales rose for a second month in a row in April, lifted by improved demand for new mass-market models, automotive industry association VDA said.

New car registrations grew 4% to 298,000 vehicles last month. Adjusted for the number of calendar days, however, April marked the first month-over-month increase in vehicle sales in 2004, Reuters noted.

The report said the association had previously reported an 8% year-over-year gain in new registrations to 345,000 units in March, but said that this was solely due to two additional working days in the month this year.

Reuters said the VDA is forecasting full-year registrations to climb to 3.35 million, after a decline of 0.5% to 3.24 million in 2003.

The association's president, Bernd Gottschalk, said in March, that a wave of key new models should lead to a gradual improvement in the sluggish German car market, the news agency noted.

Volkwagen's new Golf V has been in the market since last October, the new Opel Astra compact saw its first full month of sales in April and two other volume models to be launched - Ford's Focus and the premium BMW 1-series - are expected to arrive in showrooms in the second half of the year, Reuters added.